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what sort of complaints can't we deal with?

We can only deal with complaints about the promotion, content and overall operation of premium rate services.

Unless they refer or link callers to premium rate numbers, we do not regulate services available on:

  • STD numbers (for example, beginning ‘01’)
  • freephone numbers (for example, beginning ‘080’)
  • 084 numbers
  • 0870 numbers
  • mobile numbers
  • a subscription payable by credit card.

We do not investigate complaints about:

  • non-premium rate numbers
    Services provided on telephone numbers that start with any of the following 01, 02, 08.

  • cancelling text message services
    To unsubscribe from a reverse billed SMS service, you simply need to send the word STOP to the short code from which the chargeable messages are being received. It does not matter whether you use capital letters or not but you do need to make sure that you do not add any additional, letters, characters or spaces, as the service is automated and may not recognise any other command.

    If you are using two or more services from the same short code, send 
    STOP ALL to the short code to unsubscribe from all the services. 

    If this does not work then you will need to obtain the details of the company operating the service by going to our number checker and contacting them directly to be removed from the service.

  • disputing a call that originated from your telephone line
    If you feel that the premium rate call you are querying was not made from your telephone line then you should contact you telephone company and ask them to investigate the matter further. Whilst you may not have personally been aware of someone in the household making the premium rate call, it is most likely that someone has. It is not possible for charges to appear on your landline without someone within the household initiating the call in some way. You may wish to use our number checker in order to obtain details of the company operating the service and to find out more about the service that had been dialled. If no details of the service provider are available on our database, we will provide you with details of the network operator who owns the number. They should be able to help you if you want to find out more about the service and who provides it.

  • refunds for premium rate charges
    We can only order a company to pay you a refund once we have completed an investigation and where redress is imposed as a sanction by us. You should always speak to your own phone company in the first instance to discuss any problems with your bill. We do not regulate phone bills and, therefore, cannot insist that your phone company suspends disputed items on your bill. If you are in dispute with your phone company over your bill, please contact your phone company's ombudsman.

  • complaints about your phone company
    If you have a complaint about your telephone line provider, you should try and resolve it with them in the first instance by asking to follow their dispute resolution procedures. If you are still unhappy then you should contact Otelo (the Telecommunications Ombudsman) to see if they can help you. They can be contacted at

  • telecom billing systems
    This is a content-based service on the telephone where the charges are not billed to your telephone account. In this instance, the charges are invoiced to you directly by a totally separate company. This does not therefore conform to the definition of a premium rate service and is not something we can help with. You should contact your local Trading Standards service to see whether they are able to help you.

  • your phone company's tariffs
    If you are being charged more than the advertised rate (which is a maximum of £1.50 per minute) then this additional charge is being made (and collected) by your phone company. If this is the case you should contact your telephone company and discuss these additional charges and how they are applicable with the contract you have with them.

  • contractual agreements
    If you are the provider of any element of a premium rate service and have a contractual dispute with a service provider, information provider or network operator, then you will need to obtain independent legal advice. icstis cannot get involved with contractual disputes.

If you are unsure about whether your complaint is one that we can deal with, please contact us. 

If your complaint is not one that we can deal with, we will always try to direct you to the organisation most relevant to your complaint.

Please see the useful links section for other organisations that may be able to help you.

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